“Nunc Stans” – Cynic’s Meditative Insight Into Human Existence

“Nunc Stans” – Cynic's Meditative Insight Into Human Existence

Connor Spiech, Sr. Staff Writer

The band Cynic is a lot of things. They are quite possibly the biggest pioneers of death metal that no one has ever heard of. They are extremely proficient at their instruments, blending many complex techniques and styles. They are musical, elusive chameleons, experimenting with their sound and only revealing it five times over the past twenty-four years, with just two full-length albums. Among countless other things, they are also modern-day philosophers, with Paul Masvidal’s powerful poetry and adventures into human consciousness through deep meditation and yoga, he and the other band members dive deep into questions about the very nature of our fragile existence.

In my opinion, one of their most meaningful pieces of music is the closing song on the 2008 Traced In Air album, “Nunc Stans”. The title of the song is Latin for “now that stands still,” “everlasting now,” or “abiding now.” The overall theme of the song is that we are all living on borrowed time from a universal force, thinking that we can live forever in the present:

“Hey Comrade/ What will it be like on the day we face our mortal life?/ We’re all given the misfortune of loss/ But that’s a gift we call impermanence.”   

The truth of the matter is that we all die, and that we have to live and love in the best way that we can before we die and return to very essence of life in the universe.

The music itself is melancholy. The guitars somberly fade in, and the bass and drums softly follow suit. The song makes heavy use of dynamics and dramatically cuts back down to near-silence several times. Masvidal layers many beautiful sounds to create an atmosphere of solemnity and relaxation that does a great job of complimenting the lyrical content. Overall, the composition is very natural and the words flow perfectly into the melodies of the song. I would highly recommend this song to anyone who wants to fall into a pensive and meditative state.

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